And he finally won it. He deserved it a long time ago from his work in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? to Blood Diamond and Revolutionary Road and, most especially, The Wolf of Wall Street. He finally got it for The Revenant and while it wasn’t the best work he’s done in his whole body of work, which has been unbelievably exemplary, it’s a win he can relish. I haven’t seen Trumbo, but of the other nominees he was up against, only Michael Fassbender was a worthy contender for an upset.
But this was a long time coming for Leonardo DiCaprio and his speech was direct and sincere and powerful and the standing ovation was so well-deserved.
I woke up to live Tweets of the show and I hurriedly got up and ran to my Dad’s room where the television is and switched it on and pretty much caught up quickly. I missed the first few awards and the opening monologue, which I heard was very no-hold’s-barred about the lack of diversity in the Oscars. I get it. It’s something that we need to put out there and address. But as the show ran on, it became overstated and it was no longer funny and I felt that the point had been made and that the continuous jabs at the industry just felt bitter and mean-spirited. Yes, it’s being addressed. Even the president of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts came out to say something about it but to continue on that vein throughout the night made everybody else’s accomplishments feel hollow.
The point was made. Something is going to be done, hopefully, so let’s just have a good show.
And no actor of any ethnicity deserved that Best Actor more than Leonardo DiCaprio.
And what the hell was up with that stupid segment about the girl scout cookies? It was inane and so off-key and it had nothing to do about the issues of the industry. At least Joe Biden’s appearance made sense as he talked about sexual assault as it introduced the relevance of Lady Gaga’s performance and song.
Your daughter’s girl scout cookies, Chris Rock? Give me a break. The Academy Awards is not your show. You’re the host so just host, please. Don’t invite us to your personal life.
I’m quite thrilled, though, for Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s win for Best Director. I thought any of those nominees deserved to win and I would have been happy for any one of them winning but major props to the man whose vision brought The Revenant to life. People may not have liked it but I did very much. I love a film that tells a simple story and then elevates it through the symbolisms of cinema. It’s an epic poem tackling so many themes — revenge, survival, life and death, and the natural world.
But most especially, I’m thrilled that a movie like Spotlight can win the Best Picture and show us that a film can be socially relevant without having to punch or over-dramatise it’s subject matter.It’s a well-made film that didn’t manipulate our feelings by enhancing the drama. Absolute trust for the material. And everyone did an amazing job in it. Kudos and bravo to the cast and crew of Spotlight.
I’m now going to write my post-Academy Awards article for Juice. I’ll be talking a lot more about my thoughts on this year’s winner. Wait for it either later today or tomorrow.